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Senior citizens must exercise caution due to new Covid variants: Guleria


Amid an increase in XBB variant cases, Dr Randeep Guleria, former director of Delhi AIIMS, has advised seniors citizens to stay home and to opt Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, a media report said on Thursday.

As many as 18 cases were reported of XBB variant from Maharashtra on October 19. The new variant has also been detected in Kerala and other regions of India.

The decision to continue observing Covid appropriate behaviour, including mask wearing, came after a high-level meeting between Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya and other senior health officials on October 18.

On Monday, India detected the first confirmed case of BQ.1 variant in Pune. The BQ.1 is a mutation of BA.5, which is behind 60 per cent Covid cases in the US. Maharashtra has also reported XBB, another subvariant.

Scientists, physicians, and senior administrators suggested to ramp up surveillance and genome sequencing. Health professionals also advised a faster prophylactic dose for the eligible population on mission mode.

Dr Guleria has advised everyone to use a mask, especially when stepping out in crowded areas, Livemint reported. He also elaborated that while it is expected that new variants may continue to emerge and the existing ones will continue to mutate, the current circumstances are different. He also said that there was no immunisation prior to this time, but today everyone is vaccinated.

The chances of getting hospitalised and ICU admissions are low, according to Dr Guleria. He expects that this time there will be a mild infection, fever, cold, cough, and body ache. The chances of recovery are within 3-4 days.

With the emergence of new variants, many countries are witnessing a steep rise in cases. Mandaviya had stressed on monitoring the points of entries, especially in view of the upcoming festival season.


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